By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
Ford's iconic pony car, the 2012 Mustang, keeps going strong. Although some may argue the 2012 Mustang's styling isn't as eye-popping as the Camaro, its performance easily matches its long-time Chevy rival and others, including the Dodge Challenger and Hyundai Genesis. With the base car's V6 engine producing 305 horsepower – more than some V8s of just a few years back – the Mustang is not only fast, it's affordable. The GT model is a V8-powered dynamo with a snarling exhaust note, available 6-speed manual transmission and ripping performance. More than just a flashback, the newest Mustang also attracts younger buyers who want the experience of a torque-heavy V8. Available in Coupe or Convertible, V6, V8, high-performance V8 (Boss 302) and screamingly fast V8 (Shelby GT500), the 2012 Ford Mustang isn't all things to all people, but it comes close.
Whether you're looking for a fun and affordable sports car to relive your youth, or a fast and furious street rod to keep you from growing old, there's a 2012 Mustang with your name on it. With 31-mpg for the V6 car and the SYNC voice-activated communications system as key selling points, the Mustang is as modern as it is retro.
Those who seek an independent rear suspension, a muted purr from the engine and styling more at home at the Opera than a NASCAR event might prefer a more subdued (and probably pricier) European sports car. While the 2012 Ford Mustang is fun for two, its rear seat is best suited to children or very limber adults.
The 2012 Mustang receives a new selectable steering setup that includes Sport, Comfort and Standard modes, and the Mustang Boss 302 limited-run model debuts touting 444 horsepower. New features available on the 2012 Ford Mustang include dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, a remote garage door opener, the Reverse Sensing System and HID headlamps.
Driving Impressions Refusing to give up its solid rear axle design, Ford has created for the 2012 Mustang an inexpensive rear suspension that performs quite well and is as comfortable in cruise...as it is quick in the corners. The driver selectable steering enhances feel, response and predictability. Add in the AdvanceTrac stability control system and powerful anti-lock disc brakes, and the 2012 Ford Mustang maintains its composure quite well in the turns, although the back end can be made to step out when too much throttle is applied – which immediately activates the stability control. The GT has a driver selectable AdvanceTrac system that includes a less restrictive Sport mode. In V6 form, the 2012 Mustang delivers up 305 horsepower and packs a punch, yet still tops the 30-mpg mark in highway driving. The heart and soul of the Mustang, however, is the 5.0-liter V8, with 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque and matched with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.
Unless you absolutely revel in the idea of having a V8, the new 3.7-liter V6 is more than enough engine, producing horsepower and torque figures that surpass the output of many previous-generation Mustang GTs!
Comprehensive Interior Upgrades
Better quality and enhanced features make it a much nicer world inside every 2012 Mustang. Highlighting the mix are a one-piece soft-touch dash and more finger-friendly controls that are further complemented by variable interior ambient lighting and, on Premium models, selectable MyColor illumination.
The 2012 Ford Mustang's interior is a great place to spend time. Traditional design elements from the first Mustang include a soft-touch one-piece dash pad, bright chrome accents and brushed aluminum trim. Highlights include a 160-mph speedometer, Ford's MyColor configurable dash that allows the driver to choose from 125 color combinations, and an 8-inch color touch-screen for the optional navigation system. Thanks to an extensive use of sound deadening material, the 2012 Mustang's interior is exceedingly quiet even with the roaring V8 engine. We like the Mustang's front seats very much, finding them both supportive yet snug enough to hold one in place during aggressive driving.
The 2012 Ford Mustang shows originality and retro. Historical elements that made the first car such a hit include the galloping pony in the grille and the staggered sequential LED rear turn indicators. But the 2012 Mustang's power-bulged hood, big wheels and steeply-raked windshield never appeared on the original model. The integrated headlamp/turn-indicator unit pays homage to the 1970 Mustang, while the big 5.0-liter badges on the GT's front fenders play up on the 1980s Mustang. A wide and deep grille insert serves as the backdrop for a more stylized galloping pony emblem as well as prominent fog lamps on GT models.
All 2012 Ford Mustangs are impressively packaged. Even the base V6 comes with air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless remote entry, AM/FM/CD stereo with AUX input, Selectable Electronic Power Steering Assist (EPAS), cruise control, Electronic Stability Control (ESC; includes anti-lock brakes), front and front-side airbags, and Ford's SOS Post-Crash Alert system. The Premium versions add leather upholstery, trim enhancements, an upgraded instrument cluster with MyColor variable lighting, Shaker 500 audio system with SYNC and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power driver's seat, and a split-folding rear seat on coupes. The GT has a 412-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 engine, automatic headlamps, rear spoiler, fog lamps, a black-chrome pony grille badge, and cloth instead of synthetic material on the Convertible's power top.
Key extras for the base V6 2012 Mustang are a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Reverse Sensing System and Security Package, and a Convertible soft boot. The V6 Premium offers the base-level upgrades plus the V6 Performance Package (strut tower brace, larger anti-roll bars, 19-inch black painted wheels, recalibrated electronic stability control, performance brake pads and a 3.31:1 rear axle ratio). The GT Premium offers the California Special package (chrome billet grille, side scoops and 19-inch wheels). The GT trim offers the Brembo Brake Package, recalibrated stability program and 19-inch wheels with P255/40R19 tires. HID bi-xenon headlamps, a glass roof, back-up camera and several packages – including the Electronic (Navigation with SIRIUS, HD Radio and dual-zone auto climate control) and Comfort (leather-trimmed heated front seats and a six-way power passenger seat) – are available on Premium versions.
The base 2012 Ford Mustang is powered by an all-aluminum 3.7-liter V6 engine featuring dual overhead cams (DOHC) and Twin-Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT). The result is 305 horsepower with fuel economy comparable to some four-cylinder cars. Ford's 6-speed automatic features a "Hill Mode" function that extends gear operation on uphill climbs and provides additional engine braking upon descent; Ford does not offer a manually-selectable shift program with this transmission. Stepping up to the 5.0-liter V8 (also equipped with Ti-VCT technology) brings 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque; the Boss 302 has 444 horsepower and 380 lb-ft Our time in the Mustang GT produced zero-to-60-mph runs under five seconds.
3.7-liter DOHC V6
305 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy 19/29 (manual), 19/31 (automatic)
5.0-liter DOHC V8
412 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
444 horsepower @ 7,400 rpm (Boss 302)
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (Boss 302)
EPA city/highway fuel economy 17/26 (manual), 18/25 (automatic)
5.4-liter supercharged V8
550 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
510 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23
By bobebgtime on Friday, October 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"By Bobebgtime 10/10/2014 Vehicle 2008 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2dr Coupe (8cyl 300 HP) Review I've always liked the look of most Mustangs. This being number 12 I have a fair amount of knowledge, I did a lot of research prior to my purchase. The 300 horsepower engine moves it along fairly quick (0 to 60 mph in 5.7 sec)' isn't much in today's standards but don't let that number fool you. The car does still pack a punch. Gas mileage isn't so good but I knew that prior to buying, a small price to pay for the performance. Looks good and handles well. I did put a few mod's i.e.Bolo exhaust, a cold air induction. I'll do more later. The shaker stereo is the best"
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Awesome Car on Tuesday, October 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value, Power and fun to drive"
Cons: "Cup holders in console are not in a great spot."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great car... great power. Lots of options and holds value over the long haul. I like the looks of this car and have been pleased with both purchases I have made. Hope the 2014 is nearly as good as my 2010! So far, so good."
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By CobraDragon on Wednesday, October 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fast, King of the Road, a lot of looks and convers"
Cons: "Too many haters"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car nothing bad to say about it. I get nothing but love from so many Shelby fans and anyone who sees my car! Any car with 662 hp for less than 60 k is a real performance bargain, even if all it could do was drive in a straight line. The Shelby GT 500, however, not only accelerates with alarming brute force, but it turns and stops very well too, making it a force at the track. GT 500 is as bad as anything on the road. You can control steering feel and how you feel bumps of the road with a click of a button. I love it for the price!!"
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Frankie on Monday, September 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great styling, dependable, high residual value"
Cons: "Dated automatic"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"For the money it is a real value. For everyday driving the V6 has enough power. Overall quality of the car is very good. The fun part is dropping the top and cruising. The back seat is tight but useable and the trunk is surprising big. Ford should look into a more progressive dual clutch eight speed automatic. That would be a real improvement as the six speed automatic is dated. Don't get me wrong the automatic works fine, its just dated."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By koopa33 on Saturday, September 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great retro look with todays technology."
Cons: "Not very practical interior."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have had this V6 3.7 Liter mustang for 4 months now and I literally take this car out to have fun. The drive factor on this car is amazing and even though it does not have V8 5.0 liter engine, it still packs quite a wallop when that gas pedal is pressed down. Overall a great muscle car with amazing gas mileage. Customization is another huge plus in this vehicle. You can give it that personal touch to make this car truly yours. Grille, side scoop and even the 3.7L logo on the side fender for the v6 model can be bought off ford website. Interior design is great, but unfortunately this is where it falls shory. Storage in door compartment is non-existant, tiny almost unusuable glove compartment. No USB port on base model V6. Exterior design in my opinion is where it excels, even before I added all the exterior cosmetics this thing is a aggresive looking car. But at the end of the day this is muscle car that is meant for 2 things, having fun on the road and turning heads and this definetly does both."
14 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By doctor bass on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks, performance, transmission and engine"
Cons: "Solid rear, clutch"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Feels heavy on road; handles better than it should. Convertible a bit wonky. Hate the clutch but love the tranny. Huge trunk for a ragtop."
4 people out of 11 found this review helpful